Staunton, Sept. 7 – The Kremlin does not recognize that “the main threat to Russia comes not from any Western intrigues against it” but the way in which it is increasingly lagging intellectually behind the West and China; and in focusing on the wrong “threats,” it isn’t dealing with this one, according to Moscow mathematician and commentator Andrey Zlobin.
Emblematic of this lag, he argues, is that of the 500 largest super computers in the world as of June 2021, China had 188, the US had 122, and the Russian Federation has only three. That means China has 60 times as many as Russia, and the US has 40 (newizv.ru/comment/andrey-zlobin/06-09-2021/glavnaya-ugroza-rossii-ne-kozni-zapada-a-intellektualnoe-otstavanie-ot-zapada).
Taken as a whole, China and the US have more than 100 times as many supercomputers as Russia does, something that keeps Russian researchers from making the kind of advances in those areas where others are making breakthroughs and both reflects and means that Russia’s “effective managers” are increasingly living in a past and are being left behind.
In this situation, Chinese and American researchers are providing their political leaders with cutting edge research but Russian ones at least as far as one can tell from what the Kremlin chooses to share are giving them cartoons or pictures that reflect what they knew in the past or what they dream of in the future rather than what they are actually developing.
And that means this, Zlobin says. “We and the intellectual monster ‘China-US’ are already not different countries; we are on different planets.” Economic strategies based on the past are certain to leave Russia ever further behind, and the current leadership is acting as if the assumptions it had 30 years ago remain unchanged and unchallenged.